A source close to the project, however, has confirmed that crew members set to start work on pre-production for the film have officially been dismissed from the project for now.
While Disney allegedly briefly reconsidered whether to bring Gunn back, it ultimately decided against the move. The Guardians of the Galaxy cast even signed a petition asking Disney to reinstate Gunn.
Dave Bautista was the first member of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" cast to come out in defence of director James Gunn, and he continues to be critical over the company's decision to fire Gunn from the franchise over some offensive tweets from almost 10 years earlier that joke about rape and pedophilia. THR reports that Marvel and Disney have chose to pause plans for production while they sort out what to do about a new director.
The principal photography of the project was scheduled to start in January or February next year.
Former Scooby Doo writer Gunn - who has worked on other Marvel films, including Avengers: Infinity War - had already finished a script for a third film, which was due to enter full production in early 2019.
"The timeline has been pushed out", an unnamed source told THR.
Another tweet of James Gunn joked about rape, saying, "The best thing about being raped is when you're done being raped and it's like, 'whew this feels great, not being raped!"'
After James Gunn was let go from the project, the cast and crew of Guardians of the Galaxy released an open letter. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the series, has been most vocal in his support of the director. The film's tentative release date was said to be sometime in 2020, but with the current production halt, this may no longer be the case.